If you run your own business, then you should be in control of all of your web properties at all times. The reason is that you can still provide access to your Long Island internet marketing agency; however, you will be minimizing the risk of the following three things from taking place:
• The web marketing agency locking you out of your website and locking access to your website files.
• Your marketing agency from removing administrative access to your hosting environment, social media or advertising campaigns.
• Your marketing agency attempting to transfer ownership of your company domain to their own company (this is a grave and sad reality that we have seen with some companies who have used marketing agencies out of town).
Yes, we have seen each of these occur while onboarding new clients who were unhappy with their previous marketing agency. Unfortunately, some less reputable firms (in spite) may take steps to prevent you from “moving on” and moving forward. That is why we highly recommend you consider doing the following:
Rarely does your web marketing agency need access to your domain name. Common reasons are to help launch a new website or perform work on your email system. The primary purpose is that the agency will access the domain and point it to the new website’s nameservers/ip address, wherever it is hosted. You can actually do this important step on your own, if you would like, as long as your timing is done in close coordination with the agency. If you do not know how, you can use tech support provided by your hosting company. If you do give Admin access to your domain name, then make sure that you change and update all of your login information, at minimum, and do not provide your credit card information to the agency.
If you need to give your agency access to where your website is hosted (e.g. GoDaddy), you do NOT have to give them login information to your actual hosting account. Instead, you can create a new File Transfer Protocol (FTP) user with restricted access to only the files you would like your agency to view. This will allow the agency to upload and download web files (which is important to managing your website and your SEO). However, FTP user access is in your control at all times, and it can be removed at any time by you, without providing Hosting access.
A WordPress Website
If you have a WordPress website, then you have a username and password to log into you website. However, you do not have to give that to your web marketing or SEO agency. You can create a new User in WordPress at the Editor (not the Administrative) level. This will provide access to your website so the agency can do their work; however, they will not be able to change Administrators or take more actions than you desire. The User can also be removed at any time.
Google Advertising (Google Adwords)
For Google Advertising, you can grant access to your Google Adwords campaign without giving your original login information. The same is true for your Google Analytics. You can add a User in such a way that they can see reports and create reports, without being entitled to add or remove other Users.
Lastly, some of you have been thinking how this should all not be necessary at all…and you are absolutely right. The only web agency you should work with is one you can trust, either through vetting them properly or by getting them through a referral. Never work with a company that you do not trust. For example, if they do not have a local office; if they are a new company; if they do not have solid or local references, it may not be worth the risk. However, if you do work with a new company and you want to hedge some risks that could hurt your business, then try some of the above steps. None are hard to implement and each will save you time, headaches and ultimately profits.
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